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Your rights and obligations

Your contributions to the pension plan are locked in and can only be withdrawn in very limited circumstances (i.e., when you terminate employment in education, retire or die). You can't borrow against them or withdraw some of the funds temporarily and repay them later.

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Under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA), your pension benefit is protected.

Your benefits can't be seized by a third party, even in the event of personal bankruptcy. They also can't be assigned to someone else, unless we're instructed to do so through an order or agreement under the Ontario Family Law Act, or are required to by the Canada Revenue Agency.

If you're no longer working in education, or are planning to stop, you may be able eligible to withdraw the commuted value of your pension. For information on your options, please contact us.

As a member of the plan, you have certain rights and obligations.

Your rights and obligations

Benefit appeal process

You can appeal decisions made by our staff about your entitlement to, or the amount of, a pension benefit. To learn more about how the appeal process works, read Your Guide to Benefit Appeals. If you decide to file an appeal, you’ll need to complete a Benefit appeal hearing request form.

This Guide is just a summary of the appeal process. The Rules of Practice and Procedure for Appeals govern appeals to the Benefits Adjudication Committee (BAC). The BAC considers and decides on appeals about pension benefits provided under the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The BAC doesn't have the ability to:

  • Award payments or benefits that aren’t in accordance with plan terms and applicable legislation, including the Pension Benefits Act (Ontario) and the Income Tax Act (Canada)
  • Pay “damages” or other discretionary amounts, including those based on personal circumstances

Please refer to these Rules for further information governing the BAC appeal process. In the event of any conflict or inconsistency between this Guide and the Rules of Practice and Procedure for Appeals, the Rules prevail.

A hearing before the BAC is an adversarial process. This means a person appealing our decisions puts forward arguments and reasons why they’re entitled to benefits under the terms of the plan. We’ll defend the decision made and ask the BAC to deny the appeal.